Wyoming has some of the best wind resources in the continental U.S., Several regions of the state, mostly in the southeast, have “wind capacity factors” of more than 50%, compared to 35% in other interior states. This phenomenon supports the Wyoming wind energy boom for the next years.
Firstly, Wyoming’s wind energy capacity is nearly replacing coal as the state’s top source of electrical generation.
Secondly, developers are slated to begin constructing two major high-voltage transmission lines connecting Wyoming to several states in the West.
Thirdly, the Gateway South and TransWest Express transmission lines will open the door to a significant expansion of wind energy.
The TransWest Express project opens the ability for Wyoming wholesale electricity supplies to reach new markets, like southern California, Arizona, and Nevada.Power Company of Wyoming Communications Director Kara Choquette.
In addition, the $3 billion, 732-mile long TransWest Express transmission line will transport electricity from Power Company of Wyoming’s Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project in south-central Wyoming; as well as other potential new wind energy facilities.
Moreover, situated in Carbon County, the project’s 900 wind turbines with a total capacity of 3,000 megawatts will be the largest onshore wind energy facility in the United States.
Changing coal to wind
With an excellent transmission, this project will provide to Wyoming and the Western grid and set the stage for a significant buildout of wind turbines in the state.
Also, the state will have the ability to retire coal-fired power units; meeting several new state-level power delivery and reliability requirements.
PacifiCorp says it will retire 14 of its coal-fired power units across several states; including several in Wyoming, by 2030 and 19 by 2040.
The organization plans to add more than 3,700 MW of new wind power by 2040; throughout its six-state region, including in Wyoming.